Guys. I don’t think I’ve mentally come back from RAGBRAI. In case this doesn’t show my excitement, it was one of the best experiences of my life:
The official ride was 420 miles, but by the end of the week I had hit just over 446. Part of that was 20 miles to and from the Missouri River dip site, where you dip your rear tire in the river before starting out. In some years, the starting town is right on the river. This year, there was about a 10 mile ride each way. It was well worth it.
In between was over 400 miles of hills, food, beers, camping, and fun. It is really impossible to describe how amazing it was to be on the road with over 18,000 other riders. In between pedaling, there was a lot of good food (here I am enjoying a signature Mr. Porkchop – I never said I was glamorous)…
There was also quite a bit of roadside entertainment in the stop over towns, including these giant, inflatable balls that basically turn you into human bumper cars. I may have been flipped on my head more than once:
In between all the fun, there were also quite a few spectacular views…
Oh, and did I mention the hills? There were quite a few of them. Day 2 alone had nearly 4,000 feet of climb. That’s the day I was most worried about, but I ended up feeling super strong throughout the whole day. The roughest patch for me was the first 20 miles of day 3. I think part of it was being tired from day 2, and part of it was because we caught a pretty fast draft line and I struggled to keep up. Either way, this was me by the end of the day!
Despite being exhausted, stinky, and nearly losing my phone to a thunderstorm, it was an amazing week. There is something incredible about having your only job for a week be to get on your bike and ride. Needless to say, we were pretty happy people by the end of the week.
Hopefully this isn’t my last RAGBRAI – I can’t wait to get out there again!